For a mid-May professional boxing debut against an as yet unknown opponent, actor Mickey Rourke, 34, in Fort Lauderdale. Rourke, who had 26 bouts as an amateur before giving up the sport for Hollywood, will fight as a super middleweight. "I'm in the boxing business, not the Fantasy Island business," said promoter Tom Torino. "If he couldn't fight, I'd be helping him by not allowing him to fight." Former lightweight champion Ray Mancini will serve as Rourke's cornerman.
For the third time in five years, the Dallas Sidekicks of the Major Soccer League. The Sidekicks, who won the league championship in 1987, finished this season last among the MSL's eight teams, with a record of 20-32. The franchise, which lost nearly $2 million in its two years under owner Phil Cobb, briefly ceased operations in '86 and '88. Says Cobb, "I merely wanted to stop the bleeding."
From the University of Arkansas basketball team for one year by the school's judicial board, All-America junior guard Todd Day, 21, and three teammates for their sexual "involvement" with a 34-year-old woman. Although the woman and the Washington County (Ark.) district attorney decided not to press charges, the school's judicial board banned the players for "acts which are degrading or hold another person against his or her will." All four players, who claim the woman consented to have sexual relations with them, have appealed their suspensions. Day's stepfather, Ted Anderson, said Day will make himself eligible for the June 26 NBA draft if he is not reinstated.
Former world champion bridge player Charles Goren, 90; of heart failure; in Encino, Calif. Goren, whose April 3 death was not revealed until last week for family reasons, invented bridge's most widely used bidding system and achieved a celebrity status unequaled President Eisenhower, Nelson Rockefeller and Humphrey Bogart. Goren, who for 17 years was a SPORTS ILLUSTRATED contributing editor, also wrote a syndicated newspaper column and 40 books on the game, had a television series and once appeared on the cover of TIME. He was engaged for several years to actress Joan Fontaine, but she eventually broke it off, claiming that Goren spent too much time at bridge tournaments.
April 21, 1991
Former champion hurdler and University of Georgia track coach Forrest (Spec) Towns, 77; of heart failure; in Athens, Ga. Towns, who earned his nickname from his profusion of freckles, won a gold medal in the 110-meter hurdles at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. A few weeks later, he became the first man to break 14 seconds in the event when he ran a 13.7 in Oslo. Towns, who never ran track in high school, received a scholarship to Georgia after a neighbor spotted him in his backyard, barefoot and in overalls, jumping over a broomstick.